- Jenn Gill
Do your heels hurt when you run?
Are your heels a little achy when you wear flip flops?
Do your first few steps out of bed in the morning cause severe pain in the heel of your foot?
If you answered YES to any of these questions, you may have plantar fasciitis (fashee-EYE-tiss). It is an overuse injury affecting the sole or flexor surface (plantar) of the foot. A diagnosis of plantar fasciitis means you have inflamed the tough, fibrous band of tissue (fascia) connecting your heel bone to the base of your toes.
Runners are notoriously at risk for this injury because they often have very tight calf muscles. People with very flat feet or very high arches are also more prone to plantar fasciitis. Wearing appropriate running shoes and SUPERfeet inserts can help prevent plantar fasciitis. The next time you're in the store, we can show you the different SUPERfeet and which one would be the best suited for you.
The condition starts gradually with mild pain at the heel bone which feels like you have a bruise. You're more likely to feel it after (not during) exercise. The pain classically occurs again when you get up from sitting at your desk for some time.
If you don't treat plantar fasciitis, it may become a chronic condition. You may not be able to keep up your level of activity and you may also develop symptoms of foot, knee, hip and back problems because of the way plantar fasciitis changes the way you walk. You can also develop a heel spur which requires surgery to be removed.
REST is the first treatment for plantar fasciitis. Try to keep weight off your foot until the inflammation goes away. You can also apply ice to the sore area for 20 minutes three or four times a day to relieve your symptoms. You can also simply roll your foot alongside a Trigger Point Therapy ball. This will massage the tissue that's inflamed and can help to ease some of the pain.
Proper stretching is key to loosening those tight calf muscles. Ask us about stretches the next time you're in the store. We can make some great suggestions that are easy to do at home.
A great way to stretch the plantar fascia is to wear a Strassburg Sock or feetures! sleeve when resting or sleeping. This lightweight but very effective device will keep your plantar fascia stretched effortlessly. You can wear the sock when you are watching television, reading in bed or just plan sleeping! We typically have a great supply in the store due to doctor referrals, so come in and start feeling better.
Strengthening your calf muscles and arches are also important in preventing plantar fasciitis. You can take your socks and shoes off and write the alphabet in the air with your toes. You can pick up a towel with your toes. You can also stand on your tip toes and lower down to the ground. Repeat about 5-10 times on each foot.
By being diligent in your stretching, strengthening and other preventative measures, you may avoid plantar fasciitis from ever derailing your running!